Finding Fun in the Water: Fossil Hunting in NJ

Behind the Backyard, a Stream with Shark Teeth

Friday, July 12, 2013


Behind the manicured lawns and across from the local elementary school, a brook in Monmouth County offers up Cretaceous Period fossil hunting. With just a colander in hand, visitors can find teeth from sharks that once swam the ocean that covered all of New Jersey.

The brooks around Holmdel, N.J., are ideal for understanding geology and fossil hunting because the layers of the earth that are at the surface are from 68 million years ago, which turns out to be a very good period for fossils, said Ken Miller, a paleo-oceanographer in the geology department at Rutgers University.

"The extinction of the dinosaurs is told here and in the sediments around Ramanessin Brook," Miller said. "There's actually a lot in our backyard, which is a world-class fossil locality."

Click on the audio link above to listen to a shark fossil expedition.


Gisele Regatao


More in:

Comments [4]

Melissa from vermont

I grew up in the neighborhood with Ramanessin Brook as a border. We crossed it everyday going to elementary school. Sometimes on the way home, the brook would call and kids would stop for fun. It was a great place in the summer. With all the shark's teeth that the neigborhood kids (including myself) pulled out of there, I'm so glad that you're still finding them! Thought maybe we cleaned it out!

Jul. 12 2013 06:36 PM

Eric, Lee -- thanks so much for catching the error. Corrected now. Brain lock!

Jul. 12 2013 10:41 AM
Eric Westerwick from Holmdel, NJ

I enjoyed your piece on hunting for shark teeth in the Ramanessin Brook in Holmdel, NJ. I would like to point out that Holmdel is in Monmouth, not Middlesex County. Monmouth County is home to many wonderful parks as well as the northern section of the Jersey Shore.

Jul. 12 2013 09:18 AM

I enjoyed the interesting piece about fossil hunting in Holmdel. We live in neighboring Marlboro where other such fascinating areas exist. For your information, both Holmdel and Marlboro are in Monmouth County, not Middlesex. Thanks.

Jul. 12 2013 09:06 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by